Waawaate Fobister

Waawaate Fobister

Actor, dancer, choreographer, playwright, producer
Theatre Arts Performance, 2005

As a boy growing up in Grassy Narrows First nation, Waawaate Fobister knew that his destiny, like his father and grandfather, was telling stories. In 2009, Fobister’s play Agokwe won six Dora awards. in addition to his playwriting, he has become a celebrated actor, dancer, choreographer and producer.

Waawaate Fobister’s father and grandfather were storytellers in the indigenous oral tradition. Although Fobister always understood that he was to carry on this tradition, his life changed when he saw The Rez Sisters by Aboriginal playwright Tomson Highway. A 15-year-old at the time, Fobister was inspired to become a playwright and actor.

Shortly after graduating from Humber - with the program’s Distinguished Performance award - Fobister wrote his first play, Agokwe, which premiered in Toronto in 2008. The one-man play, acted by Fobister, won six Dora awards, including outstanding new play and outstanding performance by a male in a principal role. Agokwe is a powerful story of love and loss based on the infatuation of two Aboriginal teenage boys. Partly autobiographical, the play speaks to the idea of a “two-spirited” person, a male and a female spirit entwined in one body, once an accepted part of indigenous culture but now lost through assimilation.